New Zealand,who began their World Cup campaign beating the Lankan Lions, will be up against the minnows Scotland on 17th Feb at Dunedin. The match will start at 3:30am I.S.T. We already witnessed an upset in the World Cup when Ireland beat the West Indies today. So, this World Cup is a series all possibilities and a Scotland win over New Zealand, one possibility can’t be ignored. New Zealand are in red hot form and are favourites to win this World Cup, where as Scotland in the warm up games proved that they mind business. Scotland beat Ireland in the warm up game as they got them all out for a mere 117 and almost caused an upset over an over-rated team West Indies. Chasing 314, Scotland reached 310 in 50 overs and lost the match by 3 runs. This only meant that the team should not be taken lightly.
For the first time in World Cup history, it looks like New Zealand has the ability to take the title. It isn’t a joke either. Brendon McCullum, New Zealand skipper has been in great form and his leadership has been admirable for all captains. Kane Williamson, Ross Taylor have scored big runs and they have played a masterstroke by selecting Grant Elliot who can finish the innings along with Corey Anderson. The bowling department is also settled with McGlenhagan and Trent Boult bowling pace and bounce. Daniel Vettori has been very economical and his presence in the team gives a big boost.
Nothing much can be said about this team, as they are playing just their third World Cup and do not play much competitive cricket. They are an associate team and you know they can pull up a major upset over New Zealand. The warm up matches in which they played must have had a real boost in their morale and they would be ready to go and start their World Cup campaign with a win. Their goal must not be to win the World Cup and it’s certainly not possible too but their first target would be to reach Quarter finals and for that they need to beat a Test playing nation. If they beat New Zealand, the start to their World Cup would be excellent and they can scare other teams in their pool as now Ireland has done today.
Previous World Cup encounters:
1999 World Cup- New Zealand won by six wickets (Edinburgh)
The odds are with New Zealand and anyone would say it should be a cakewalk for them. However, in cricket, there’s a rule and that says never take any team lightly as it might come to haunt you later in the evening. Scotland has looked strong in the Warm up games and their confidence is high which will give them the belief that they can go on and beat New Zealand. New Zealand on the other hand, has won games at home, away, warm up games and their opening match. This confidence in the Kiwi team should not turn into over confidence as they are standing up against an associate team. A 100% prediction cannot be given in any sport as anything can happen on any day and for Scotland, they would hope to turn this into that day which will shock the world and bring smiles back home.
Key players to watch out for
New Zealand: Kane Williamson
He is the man for saviour for the Kiwis when they get into trouble situations. He can also play a role of a finisher having played enough T20 cricket to smash the ball in the last 10 overs. Calm and composed and sound with batting technique is the key player in the Kiwi side to be watched out for. Got a half century in the opening game and he would love to continue his form and become the next big thing in the New Zealand side with the conclusion of this World Cup.
Scotland: RD Berrington
Chasing a target of 313 in the Warm up match against West Indies, Berrington scored 66 off 44 to almost get over the score but failed to do so. In the warm up match against Ireland which Scotland won, Berrington scored 52 off 57 balls and helped his team reach 296 after 50 overs. He has been in form with the bat and Scottish will rely on him for the later slog overs.
Probable playing XI
Martin Guptill, Brendon McCullum (c), Kane Williamson, Ross Taylor, Grant Elliott, Corey Anderson, Luke Ronchi (wk), Daniel Vettori, Adam Milne, Trent Boult, Mithchell McClenagahan
Kyle Coetzer, Callum MacLeod, Hamish Gardiner, Matt Machan, Preston Mommsen (c), Richie Berrington, Matthew Cross (wk), Josh Davey, Alasdair Evans, Majid Haq, Ian Wardlaw